CBF and the SBC

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CBF and the SBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:26 am

While CBF has experienced a somewhat turbulent year with the release of the Illumination Project Report, I can't help wondering how much CBF has benefitted from the SBC's troubles with vacancies at the highest levels of the denomination. Any thoughts?
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby KeithE » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:28 am

Dave Roberts wrote:While CBF has experienced a somewhat turbulent year with the release of the Illumination Project Report, I can't help wondering how much CBF has benefitted from the SBC's troubles with vacancies at the highest levels of the denomination. Any thoughts?


I know that is frustrating to get no comments to posts, so here is my reply to your asking for “thoughts”.

I have taken the time to read most of the Illumination Project Report (IPR) - not bad, but would want a more explicit statement on two subjects (soft pedaled in Report)-
- (1) Biblical Authority - the Bible is not inerrant or infallible and we should proudly say so, imo. The IPR calls Scripture “the final authority on all matters of faith and practice" (see “On Scripture”, page 8 ). While better than Inerrant or infallible, I doubt that it serves as a final authority - witness Jeff Session’s use of Romans 13 has not “finally” settled anything among Christians. It would be better to speak of the Bible as “valuable” (or some other softer term like "guidebook") and not as the first item describing the CBF faith as the IPR implies (again page 8 ) *. That would be a more thorough-going identity than other traditional CBF discriminants (e.g women in ministry, or separation of church and state). It would also be more accurate in the way the Bible is actually used in most churches everywhere - no matter what people claim. There is for sure a lot of proof-texters in Christendom (but few if any that take stock of all the Bible comprehensively - if they do, they will not always find the unanimity {in text or interpretation} they seek {for self application or judgmentalism}). Don’t get me wrong, there is much good stuff in the Bible and it is worth studying if for nothing more than it has the best history of Jesus and His teaching. But the Holy Spirit is the only hope for anything approaching “all truth” (that we need for a living faith) as even John 16:13 says (for those of you that demand a text):

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.


- (2) Homosexuality has equal validity to heterosexuality. It is present (usually a minority) in most creaturely species. Making such a statement now will put the CBF on the right side of history and be more thoroughly loving.

Dave, I do not know about your context “SBC's troubles with vacancies at the highest levels of the denomination”, so I'm unable to comment. Do not know of any level SBC leader switching the CBF lately (ala Keith Parks. Is Russell Moore close?).

That said and to answer your question, I have been seeing some benefits of younger people joining our church and several middle aged families joining our church after our public refinement of our identity during our 2-year ago LBGT squabble (and FBC Huntsville's move to the right).

Perhaps a further Illumination Project could be made in other areas to further delineate ourselves from the SBC (and others denominations/churches) as being God’s Kingdom enablers, like:
- (A) Social Justice (God is wanting His creation to work together collectively to bring about fairness, adequate food, shelter, livelihoods for all; church ought to be as much about that as personal piety)
- (B) Environmentalism (God wants his created world to stay clean, beautiful and sustainable).

Good people (all ages) will come if we are less soft-pedaling on issues, opting for a “peace” that is really smoldering, imo. Being upfront about such issues may create some losses in membership, but purity of loving/inclusive positions is far more important. I do not mind being a minority in a fallen world, but will try to be the right kind of majority. IMO, churches make the same mistake corporations do - looking for short term profits/attendance gains.

-------------------

* I’d start out a statement of faith with “On Creation” something like - God created the heavens and the earth for unponderable reasons chief among them His enjoyment of watching and hoping that His free will creatures will act together in loving relationships in beautiful surroundings. He wants our cooperation. Then a section “On Jesus” about his incarnation and encouragement in teaching. Then a section “On the Holy Spirit” saying that is the source of God’s continuing guidance to His creatures in specific living situations. A Trinitarian beginning, then get into other matters like the Nature of Scripture/Canon, Mission, Ethics, Polity, Hopes our Future ....
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby William Thornton » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:49 am

Saw this but was busy with sectarian business this past week.

I don't think CBF has gained much but you are in touch more than I. The naitonal CBF is about the budget size of one of the smaller southern state conventions, say, South Carolina. Far from the 40% that supposedly identified with the moderates back in 1991, the number of exclusive affiliate CBF churches is, what, less than a thousand, 2% of SBC size or so?

While the SBC has adopted some more moderate positions on issues, following CBF by a generation on such, one notes that the CBF has moved on to much more liberal matters. There is still considerable distance between us.

The CBF discusses survival. The SBC discusses the reality of a slow decline but still a huge organization and funding engines for cooperative work.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby William Thornton » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:51 am

CBFers generallly detested PP already. His downfall was already factored into their decisions, no?
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:37 pm

I sense that Mike Pence's appearance and political stump speech may have been a more pertinent part of this SBC than the PP issues. The Trump support right now is killing the witness of all Jeff Sessions supporters.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Sandy » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:42 pm

I don't believe there's been much movement from the SBC to CBF, nor would there be, despite the problems that exist within the SBC. Both groups are losing members, but I don't see a stream from the SBC into CBF, or vice versa. Other than a few attempts in some states and associations to force dually affiliated congregations off the fence, the status quo seems to be that 80% of the churches that support CBF also still give to the Cooperative Program through their state convention. The national group is distancing itself from a lot of the churches with the Illumination Project. I don't see much change in either organization.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 am

One major change I see in both organizations is a great generational shift is underway. The reports from CBF last week were that the crowd was younger than ever before, and leadership is rapidly passing from the founding generation to a new generation. At the SBC, I see more long-term people still in leadership positions, though the election of this year's president may signal that the run of my generation has ended. Both groups are moving into church starting efforts, the SBC among African-American groups and CBF more with Hispanics, especially in the Southwest. It will be interesting to see how the future shapes out as the "nones" and "dones" occupy more of the religious landscape. I notice that CBF had a major institute on evangelism and SBC accepted a report of an evangelism task force, both basically acknowledging that the methods of evangelism from the past are not working as they once did. For both groups, the declining numbers of Caucasian births spell a lot of struggles for the future unless they succeed in becoming more multi-ethnic.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Sandy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:02 am

Dave Roberts wrote: At the SBC, I see more long-term people still in leadership positions, though the election of this year's president may signal that the run of my generation has ended.


The SBC seemed to be moving in this direction in a few places. David Platt at the IMB, Jason Allen at Midwestern Seminary are both examples of younger institutional leadership, though Platt didn't stay long, and seemed to be more attracted to what he can do in his preaching and writing ministry than heading a mission board. The election of J.D. Greear as president is being portrayed as a new direction.

Perhaps the SBC has grown tired of the Pattersonian way of conducting business by using your influence to ensure that trustees are placed on key boards who are allies and friends of yours, so that when you want a particular job, you've already got a support structure in place. The vote against Tom Hatley's motion was quite an overwhelming repudiation of the good-ole-boy nepotism that has been the trademark of the conservative resurgence. Bart Barber's description of Patterson's tactics described something with which it seems most Southern Baptists, all but his hard core supporters, find disgusting. So was the vote on the motion to restore am ERLC trustee who is notably supportive of Russell Moore to his second term, rather than elect a Moore opponent, as the committee on boards attempted to do. I don't know that I'd call a few key votes at one convention meeting a movement, but it did produce some signs.

Dave Roberts wrote: I notice that CBF had a major institute on evangelism and SBC accepted a report of an evangelism task force, both basically acknowledging that the methods of evangelism from the past are not working as they once did. For both groups, the declining numbers of Caucasian births spell a lot of struggles for the future unless they succeed in becoming more multi ethnic.


CBF inherited a lot of its DNA from the SBC when its churches either distanced themselves a bit, or left. It is going to have to decide which constituencies it can serve with a unified mission and purpose, and let the rest, particularly the older, white crowd in bigger chunks like Texas Baptists, or the floaters who have used CBF mainly as a way to keep a salary, some influence and power after getting tossed from the SBC. I think those days are over. The illimination project will separate some of the fence sitters out, and CBF can go on being what its current leadership senses that it needs to be in order to be a sustainable presence.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:22 pm

Sandy wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote: At the SBC, I see more long-term people still in leadership positions, though the election of this year's president may signal that the run of my generation has ended.



CBF inherited a lot of its DNA from the SBC when its churches either distanced themselves a bit, or left. It is going to have to decide which constituencies it can serve with a unified mission and purpose, and let the rest, particularly the older, white crowd in bigger chunks like Texas Baptists, or the floaters who have used CBF mainly as a way to keep a salary, some influence and power after getting tossed from the SBC. I think those days are over. The illimination project will separate some of the fence sitters out, and CBF can go on being what its current leadership senses that it needs to be in order to be a sustainable presence.


I have always wondered where these floaters who have used CBF for a salary, influence, and power are. Of course, I was never in Texas as you were, only NC and VA. As a Virginia example, the largest staff CBF or VA has ever fielded is four people, and right now the staff is three. One of them was not even born when CBF came into being, one is in his late 30's, and only one was even active in Baptist life when CBF came into being. This must just be a Texas thing, Sandy.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:49 am

Dave Roberts wrote:I have always wondered where these floaters who have used CBF for a salary, influence, and power are. Of course, I was never in Texas as you were, only NC and VA. As a Virginia example, the largest staff CBF or VA has ever fielded is four people, and right now the staff is three. One of them was not even born when CBF came into being, one is in his late 30's, and only one was even active in Baptist life when CBF came into being. This must just be a Texas thing, Sandy.


I'm so far out of Baptist life right now that I don't hear much about what the CBF is doing. But I would have never thought of the CBF as a "power group" It was never enough churches for that. Yes, some very fine and prestigious churches are CBF. But I would think a pastor could gain more power/influence by staying in the SBC as the really large denomination.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby JE Pettibone » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:48 am

William Thornton wrote:CBFers generallly detested PP already. His downfall was already factored into their decisions, no?



Ed: William I believe detested is much too strong to describe the feeling of most CBFers for Paige Patterson. His downfall in my opinion came as a natural consequence of his own arrogance.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:33 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:
William Thornton wrote:CBFers generallly detested PP already. His downfall was already factored into their decisions, no?



Ed: William I believe detested is much to strong to describe the feeling of most CBFers for Paige Patterson. His downfall in my opinion came as a natural consequence of his own arrogance.


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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Haruo » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:15 pm

Are there any CBF churches in Washington state?
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby JE Pettibone » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:35 pm

Haruo wrote:Are there any CBF churches in Washington state?


I don;t know however I have met ABCers from Washington state at both ABC Biennials and CBF Assemblies.
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Re: CBF and the SBC

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:18 pm

Haruo wrote:Are there any CBF churches in Washington state?


There is one CBF affiliated church in Washington state, the Inland Church in Spokane. The West isn't prime terrirory for CBF, largely because there aren't a lot of Southern Baptists out that way, and most of the SBC churches, and the state conventions, owe their existence to the national body via NAMB and the support it has provided. So there aren''t very many churches that felt the kind of disenfranchisement from the SBC out that way. The closest CBF church to you is the First Baptist Church in Beaverton, Oregon. Those are the only two CBF affiliated congregation in the Northwest. There are 22 churches in the CBF West, which includes California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii. The group headquarters is in Tucson, Arizona, and Arizona and California have six churches each, Colorado and Idaho have two each, and there's one each in Oregon, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Utah.

Most of these churches are new church plants, not former SBC congregations that had a group of members wanting to go with CBF.
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